Full services resume at Cork Airport after crash

Feb 12 2011

_51204966_cranecrashpl-1.jpegFull services have resumed at Cork Airport following the clearance of the wreckage of the plane which crashed killing six people.

The first flight of the day, an Aer Lingus plane bound for Amsterdam, took off shortly after 0600 GMT on Saturday.

On Thursday, the Manx2 flight from Belfast to Cork overturned and caught fire after its third attempt at landing.

The six people who were injured were treated at Cork University Hospital.

Two of the survivors were released from hospital on Friday.

It has been reported that the 19-year-old Fairchild Metroliner aircraft passed a full maintenance check in Spain last week.

Manx2 chairman Noel Hayes has said he was "absolutely satisfied" that co-pilot Andrew Cantle from York and Spanish pilot Jordi Gola Lopez were fully qualified. Both men were killed in the crash.

Their full training records and qualifications have been passed to inspectors at Ireland's Air Accident Investigations Unit.

"The last 24 hours have been a very long and dark 24 hours for me, but I know they were probably a longer and darker 24 hours for the families of the bereaved and my heart goes out to them," Mr Hayes said last night.

Mr Hayes declined to comment on whether the plane was properly equipped to land in dense fog.

Two of the survivors, Donal Walsh and Lawrence Wilson and their families issued a statement through the Republic's Health and Safety Executive South, to "express their condolences to the families of the deceased and to say that their thoughts and prayers are with them at this very difficult time."

One of the victims of the crash was Brendan McAleese, from Tannaghmore in County Antrim and was a cousin of Irish president, Mary McAleese's husband.

Pat Cullinan was originally from Plumbridge, County Tyrone, and a partner in accountancy firm KPMG in Belfast. A third victim, Captain Michael Evans, was a deputy harbour master at Belfast Harbour.

Black boxes

The Spanish pilot, Jordi Gola Lopez, was also killed alongside his British co-pilot Andy Cantle, who was from Sunderland.

The sixth victim was Richard Noble from Derbyshire.

Five teams from Ireland, the UK, Spain and the US, are investigating what caused the Manx2 flight from Belfast to crash on landing.

The plane came down in thick fog and burst into flames.

Investigators removed the wreckage of the plane at about 1645 GMT on Friday.

Paddy Judge from the Air Accident Investigation Unit said two black boxes were recovered from the aircraft.

"The cockpit voice recorder will probably go to Farnborough to be downloaded and read there," he said.

"The flight data recorder, which records the parameters associated with the aircraft will be going up to our air accident investigators in Dublin to be read there."

Irish Minister for Transport Pat Carey said a preliminary report on the crash would likely be available within weeks, although a more detailed one would take much longer.

Mr Carey said what was clear from initial reports was "how quickly the emergency response got under way".

However, it is expected that a final report could take more than a year to complete given the serious legal and financial implications of the accident.

Books of condolence were opened at Cork City Hall and Cork County Hall to allow members of the public express their condolence to the families of the victims of the plane crash.

Fr Joesph O'Connor from Plumbridge said a mass will be said on Sunday for Mr Cullinan and the other victims.

He added: "There is nothing we can say except we love you and we are praying for you. On Sunday in our church we're saying mass for all those who died, the injured, their relatives and for the rescuers."

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